6 Crucial Public Health Issues of 2021
With a significant increase in population, social issues, and chronic illnesses, the demand for public health is now more than ever. The field of public health is a very vast one. It includes public health professionals, healthcare researchers, policymakers, community stakeholders, and many others. All these experts, with their unique viewpoints, struggle to address and resolve various public health concerns and enhance the overall community’s health.
The primary focus of public health professionals is to assess health issues and educate and promote wellness through different programs. Identifying the health issues assist public health experts in responding suitably and helping the individuals or entire community to recover from these problems. Do you wish to be a part of the public health industry and looking for the most common issues? Read on below to learn some most widespread public health issues this year:
As of December 2019, China reported its first case of the novel coronavirus. However, World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a pandemic in March 2020. The deadly virus has changed the way people live their everyday life tremendously. Today, there are around five different variants of SARS-COV-2 affecting people in multiple countries. Although various vaccination programs have started this year to combat the effects of this deadly virus across many countries, still many countries are lagging. For sure, no one is safe in this pandemic until everyone is vaccinated and follows precautions. Thus, the healthcare system must ensure the entire population receives effective vaccination to resolve health and economic issues.
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- Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Another crucial public health problem is the increasing rate of alcohol and substance abuse. Most people often use alcohol as a stress reliever treatment. However, the truth is too much intake of alcohol and drugs can lead to severe consequences in the long run. Some of the common risks of excessive alcohol and drug substance consumption include road accidents, falls, suicide, etc. Approximately more than 21 million people in America suffer from at least one addiction. However, as per the Addiction Center report, only 10% receive treatment for drug addiction. Moreover, people with alcohol addiction are more likely to experience dangerous health issues such as heart problems, mental disorders, liver and digestive problems, and social problems.
- Food Safety
Many underdeveloped and developing states struggle to provide healthy and affordable food to their citizens. Even the well-developed countries encounter food insecurity problems. As a result, food insecurity continues to remain one of the prominent public health concerns in 2021. Constant intake of contaminated food can cause nausea, diarrhea, weakness, stomach ache, etc. However, eating chemical contaminated food can cause severe illnesses such as cancer, neurological symptoms, and mild gastroenteritis. Thus, public health experts are in high demand for promoting and inspecting food security.
- Mental Health
According to World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the leading mental health problem. It has affected more than 264 million people worldwide. Moreover, the emergence of the novel coronavirus and its restrictions; social distancing acts as a significant contributor to mental health disorders. Since last year, more and more people of different age groups suffer from loneliness and anxiety due to isolation and social lockdown. Therefore, a significant concern for public health professionals is to promote community-based mental health care to combat mental health issues.
- Heart Disease and Stroke
Heart disease is nothing new. Center for disease control and prevention reports around one person dies after every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular diseases. Prevention of causes that leads to heart problems remains the leading public health concern this year. Moreover, experts suggest that cardiovascular diseases would continue to grow over the years to come. Obesity, genetics, smoking, and drugs are some of the primary causes of cardiovascular diseases. Stroke is one of the severe consequences of heart disease, which can ultimately lead to immobility.
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
HIV is a deadly virus that affects the human body’s immune system. It can cause AIDS if not cured properly. It is to note that there is no effective cure for HIV and can cause damage to the human immune system. Although various studies report a decline in HIV cases, the disease continues to exist in 2021. Some common HIV symptoms include fever, chills, sore throats, fatigue, mouth ulcers, and muscle ache. Effective educational programs to aware community people on how to protect themselves from HIV is the primary responsibility of public health professionals.
Public health workers cannot excel in the field without gaining proper knowledge. These officials are responsible for analyzing health issues. They conduct comprehensive research and increase awareness among the community with research and promotional content. Individuals who wish to improve the wellbeing of a person and community group can opt for a career in this field. Be mindful, public health issues are ever-changing, and tackling these problems is no walk in the park.